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ACCHD continues to encourage self-reporting from at-home COVID-19 tests

Athens City-County Health Department, or ACCHD,  is encouraging people to self-report positive results from at-home COVID-19 tests.

As of Sept. 20, ACCHD received a total of 64 reports of positive tests from non-proctored at-home tests. Recently, the health department reported 32 new COVID-19 cases on Sept. 28. 

Still, the health department is promoting self-reporting. James Gaskell, ACCHD health commissioner, said they do that through Facebook posts, their web page and the test kit instructions, which tell users to report positive results to their local health department.

During the week of Sept. 12, Gaskell said there were 301 reported cases to the Ohio Disease Reporting System, or ODRS.

“Proctored tests are reported on the state reporting system,” Gaskell said in an email. “We then add them to the state system.”

On Sept. 2, the health department posted a link to self-report a positive result on their Facebook page. The link was posted in hopes it would make it easier for people to report their test results, as opposed to the previous method of calling the health department. The health department will follow up with those who self-report positive tests with a phone call.

Ohio University has a similar system. Anyone at OU who tests positive can notify COVID Operations through phone or an incident report. Vice President for Communications and Marketing Robin Oliver said that doing so “is important so we can provide necessary care and case management.”

OU students can also take COVID-19 tests through CVS, according to a previous Post report. Testing through the university is provided through Vault Health, based in Shively Hall. 

Anirudh Ruhil, a data analyst for OU’s COVID Operations team, believes it is important to encourage self-reporting to local health officials and the university. 

“The more tests there are, the better for everybody,” Ruhil said.

There is also concern about people not taking the test correctly. To that, Ruhil explained people who do not have COVID-19 self-test negative more than 99% of the time, and people who have COVID-19 test positive 91% of the time on the same tests.

However, Ruhil expressed some worries about at-home testing. He said people may be hesitant to report positive tests. 

“My result is positive, but I’m not showing any symptoms,” he said. “I need that job. I might not say … I tested positive.” 

@donovanhunt9

dh322621@ohio.edu

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